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How to move the exchange rate if you must: the diverse practice of foreign exchange intervention by central banks and a proposal for doing it better

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  • Basu, Kaushik
  • Varoudakis, Aristomene

Abstract

The paper is about the art of exchange rate management by central banks. It begins by reviewing the diversity of objectives and practices of central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market. Central banks typically exercise discretion in determining when and to what extent to intervene. Some central banks use publicly declared rules of intervention, with the aim of increasing visibility and strengthening the signaling channel of policy. There is tentative evidence that the volatility of foreign exchange reserves is comparatively lower in emerging market economies where central banks follow some form of rules-based foreign exchange intervention. The paper goes on to argue that when the foreign exchange market includes some large strategic participants, the central bank can achieve superior outcomes if intervention takes the form of a rule, or"schedule,"indicating commitments to buying and selling different quantities of foreign currency conditional on the exchange rate. Exchange rate management and reserve management can then be treated as two independent objectives by the central bank. In line with the stylized facts reviewed, this would enable a central bank to pursue exchange rate objectives with minimum reserve changes, or achieve reserve targets with minimum impact on the exchange rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Kaushik & Varoudakis, Aristomene, 2013. "How to move the exchange rate if you must: the diverse practice of foreign exchange intervention by central banks and a proposal for doing it better," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6460, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6460
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gustavo Adler & Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora, 2011. "Foreign Exchange Intervention: A Shield Against Appreciation Winds?," IMF Working Papers 2011/165, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Basu, Kaushik & Morita, Hodaka, 2006. "International credit and welfare: A paradoxical theorem and its policy implications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1507-1528, August.
    3. Koray Alper & Hakan Kara & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2013. "Reserve Options Mechanism," Central Bank Review, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, vol. 13(1), pages 1-14.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Frankel, 2019. "Systematic Managed Floating," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 255-295, April.
    2. Basu Kaushik, 2014. "The Art of Currency Manipulation: How Some Profiteer by Deliberately Distorting Exchange Rates," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 199-211, February.

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    Keywords

    Debt Markets; Emerging Markets; Currencies and Exchange Rates; Economic Stabilization; Economic Theory&Research;
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